Goto main content

Toward a political declaration against bombing in populated areas

Explosive weapons
International

On Monday 18th November at the United Nations in Geneva, States’ delegations, militaries, UN agencies and civil society are gathering to start discussions on a political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

The Vienna conference, on October 1 and 2, gathered 133 States. A majority committed to develop a political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

The Vienna conference, on October 1 and 2, gathered 133 States. A majority committed to develop a political declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. | © HI

The negotiations, starting with this first meeting in Geneva, will be followed by another round of consultations early next year and should culminate at a conference scheduled for late spring 2020 in Dublin, where a political declaration will be opened for endorsements.

HI and members of the International Network of Explosive Weapons (INEW) are working with States to convince them to fully support a strong political declaration to end the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas and to ensure support the victims of these weapons.

 

“These first discussions are crucial to prepare a draft of the political declaration. During this first round of negotiations, we want to secure 3 points: to ensure that the declaration will call on states to ‘stop’ using explosive weapons in populated areas, to include obligations for states to assist victims and their communities and to require militaries to share good policies and practice for the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.”

Anne Héry, HI Advocacy Director

Call on your MPs

HI calls for citizens’ support to mobilize parliamentarians in 7 countries (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom) and ensure that governments will commit to the cause. Citizens are writing to their MPs to ask their government to support the declaration against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Unacceptable casualties

Armed conflicts are increasingly fought in populated areas; mainly cities. The impact of the use of explosive weapons is devastating for civilians: According to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) 20,384 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2018. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 90% of the victims are civilians.

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas also leads to the destruction of essential infrastructures like houses, hospitals, schools etc. and leaves massive contamination with unexploded ordnances, which is one of the key drivers of forced displacement.

The Vienna Conference, October 2019

The three rounds of negotiations were launched in October at the Vienna Conference “Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare”, gathering 133 States. A majority announced their willingness to work on a political declaration to end human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

Date published: 20/11/19

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

HI clears a hidden bomb factory in Raqqa
© HI
Explosive weapons

HI clears a hidden bomb factory in Raqqa

A resident contacted HI about what appeared to be an abandoned bomb factory in his basement. We cleared the location of multiple explosive devices.

"We used to be farmers and now all our fields are mined! Who cares about us?"
© M.Monier / HI 2023
Emergency Explosive weapons

"We used to be farmers and now all our fields are mined! Who cares about us?"

In Ukrainian villages cut off by the war, such as Velyka Komyshuvakha in the Kharkiv region, HI is raising awareness to the risks posed by explosive remnants of war.

Kira, Storm, Fisti and Tini: meet our new demining colleagues in Senegal
© A. Stachurski / HI
Explosive weapons

Kira, Storm, Fisti and Tini: meet our new demining colleagues in Senegal

Nose to the wind and eyes sparkling, the four dogs are training in the luxuriant vegetation of Casamance. Soon, they will be clearing mines alongside Humanity & Inclusion’s teams.

FOLLOW US